John Berger: Indecently Intense

I bought someone a Kindle for Christmas, or contributed my share of the cost. A useful gadget, but I prefer to have all my books where I can see them, on the shelf.

I was looking at one of those shelves late last night, from the comfort of my chair, and pulled down a copy of Photocopies, by John Berger. This is a stunning book, which I bought some 15 years ago and have read many times. It blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction, and, importantly, always inspires me to write.

Berger is English, but left this country to live in France four decades ago. Why? He gives a fascinating answer in the interview below. He never felt at home in England, he says. Whenever he talked to people or listened to them, he felt he embarrassed them. “I was indecently intense,” he says.

(relax, only the first 10 seconds are in French)